What should I look for in a crypto exchange?

The invention of blockchain meant that digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, could be launched - with new currencies still being established almost daily. This rise of decentralised finance (DeFi) has led to the increase of crypto exchanges, but what makes a great one?

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What should I look for in a crypto exchange?
  • Crypto exchanges need to offer low fees, robust security features, and efficiency.
  • Increasingly, being able to copy trading strategies should be offered as well.
  • Any platform must be user-friendly so that even novice traders can get started.
  • Using an FCA-registered platform can give you even more peace of mind

Crypto exchanges: FAQs

  • Who regulates crypto exchanges?

    Not all crypto exchanges are regulated or registered, which many people look for with any financial services company they use. That said, for some, no regulation is a positive, but regulations and rules provide comfort to others. If you want to use a regulated or registered exchange, it's best to look for the FCA as the authority that provides oversight. The FCA has a robust framework upon which crypto exchanges must run.

  • What is the most important characteristic of a good crypto exchange?

    This depends on what type of crypto trader you are. If you are a novice, you'll likely be looking for a platform that is simple to use and straightforward to navigate. However, if you are an expert, you may look for more complex features, such as real-time pricing, that allows you to run financial modelling. Or, perhaps you want more innovative features such as copy trading.

  • What else can I trade on a crypto exchange?

    It will vary according to the exchange you use, but many exchanges offer the ability to trade NFTs. Adding NFTs to a portfolio is increasing in popularity, but they shouldn't be muddled up with trading cryptocurrencies. You may find platforms that allow you to buy and sell cryptos in addition to more traditional assets like stocks, shares and bonds.

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To buy and sell cryptocurrency like Bitcoin (BTC), using a crypto exchange is often best, as mining for these digital assets can be very expensive, not to mention time-consuming. However, like cryptocurrencies, the number of exchanges around is eye-watering. As a result, beginners and even experts may find the choice overwhelming. 

To cut through the wealth of choices, there are several key characteristics to keep an eye out for, just like a trading platform for traditional assets. 

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Why do I need a crypto exchange? 

Before delving in-depth into what makes a good crypto exchange, let's first go over why you need one. It may sound obvious, but you must ensure they do more than allow you to trade crypto assets with large market caps like Ethereum (ETH). They also need to provide the liquidity you need to trade so, irrespective of circulating supply, you can buy and sell any other cryptos easily. That needs to be the case whether you are purchasing the stablecoin Tether (USDT) for some USD or whether you are buying a new coin that has recently had an initial coin offering (ICO). 

Therefore, the crucial factor to remember when understanding why you need an exchange is that your provider must support and facilitate your trades. You need the ability to take a position in crypto easily while just as easily being able to exit it - regardless of market cap.

Characteristics of a good crypto exchange

We’ve identified five crucial characteristics to seek in any exchange. However, what you want specifically from a platform can be subjective, so you may not believe it's necessary to have all of the below. Instead, consider these characteristics in relation to what you want from your crypto investments, how you like to trade specifically, and how that tallies up with the rest of your portfolio. 

Low fees

A characteristic that most people will want from a platform is for it to have low fees across the board. 

However, there is a balance here. 

A company needs to offer low fees while still providing a good user experience which delivers on its crypto trading provision. If the fees mean that the technology backing its platform is poor, it may cause you to trade in a suboptimal fashion - costing you money in the long run. So, while you may want to keep fees as low as possible, you may find the service offered by some platforms is so good it does not matter that their fees aren't the lowest offered by competitors. 

Trustworthy with robust security features

In the wake of the alleged FTX fraud and increased cybercrime in general, you want to ensure that your platform is safe to use. Staying safe while trading on an online platform is a multi-faceted affair - from your login (be it two-factor authentication or otherwise) to how you transfer your money in and out. Be sure to investigate this before signing up to a platform and depositing money. Specific to crypto exchanges, you may want to discover what their storage facility is like for your currencies and if they are regulated or registered with a relevant body.

Knowledge through social trading

Increasingly users want the ability to copy crypto strategies on a trading platform. That's especially the case for cryptocurrencies, with many individuals still trying to figure out how to use the asset type to diversify their portfolio. Social trading allows users to quickly follow a trader. They can then implement that trader's strategy, taking advantage of their experience and knowledge without having ever traded cryptos before in their life. Despite having zero trading volume in their history, social trading can mean users outperform the market if they choose the right trader to copy. 

Simplicity with user-friendly interfaces

If you're a novice to crypto trading, the exchange you choose must be user-friendly. But that's still the case if you are an expert. While beginners undoubtedly need support in making the process as easy as possible, experts need technology to enable their complicated trading strategies without impeding their activity. In addition, the crypto market is volatile, so it's crucial you can time your exit and entry positions at the point you want to - if your exchange prevents you from doing that effectively, you may see a significant negative impact on your ability to make returns. 

Time efficient

Another crucial characteristic for novices and experts alike is that their chosen exchange offers them an efficient way to trade. That means real-time pricing, where price changes are quickly displayed so that traders have the information they need at the time they need it. Exchange efficiency also makes placing trades easier, but it needs to go beyond that. Making deposits, exchanging assets into traditional currencies, or simply paying fees must be quick and painless. 

ICONOMI delivers all these features to make your crypto journey easy

Cryptocurrency exchanges pop up all the time. However, we’ve identified ICONOMI as one worth considering and features all the characteristics we list above. 

ICONOMI is not a traditional exchange - it's a copy trading platform - that could be an excellent option for you, particularly if you are interested in social trading. The company allows you to create your own strategy for investment or copy a strategy managed by an experienced trader. 

It means you can easily diversify your crypto holdings by using other users' knowledge to implement strategies. That's further helped by the company's platform, which has been designed with simplicity in mind. It’s exceptionally beginner-friendly, making timing your trades even easier. Plus, it comes with the bonus of being an FCA-registered platform, providing you with security and peace of mind. 

The price of trading and investing with ICONOMI is competitive, while the company also offers you plenty of confidence and knowledge through its blog and copy trading capabilities.

The content on is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial advisor. Any references to products, offers, rates and services from third parties advertised are served by those third parties and are subject to change. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors
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